07 October 2010
Kentucky: Where Education Doesn't Pay the Unemployed
Anyway, Gov. Patton was quoted as saying, "Unless people understand that an education is the way to get a good job and provide for a good quality of life, they won't take advantage of these opportunities [referring to programs like the GED and such]." It's generic, but it sounds about right. Education should lead to a better quality of life. You should hone skills of reason and critical thinking; concepts that (unlike trigonometry) we all need to employ throughout every day of our lives. More practically speaking, an education is supposed to make you more desirable as an employee. (We all know about people being rejected for jobs as "overqualified," but again, this is not the scope of my writing today.)
What has come to my attention today is that Kentuckians who apply for unemployment benefits can be disqualified from receiving those benefits if "You are attending school (without prior approval of the Office of Employment and Training)." It's on page 7 of Your Rights and Responsibilities While Claiming Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Go ahead and look; I'll wait.
Think about this for a moment. You're applying for unemployment benefits. Does that suggest that things are going swimmingly for you? Who bases his or her enrollment in school around the expectation of becoming abruptly unemployed? No wonder Kentucky rates so poorly in both education and employment: our government actively discourages Kentuckians from trying to do the right thing for themselves.